Empathy


Empathy doesn’t involve feeling sorry for someone. It is our honest answer to the question, “why did they do what they did?”

The useful answer is rarely, “because they’re stupid.” Or even, “because they’re evil.” In fact, most of the time, people with similar information, similar beliefs and similar apparent choices will choose similar actions. So if you want to know why someone does what they do, start with what they know, what they believe and where they came from.

Dismissing actions we don’t admire merely because we don’t care enough to have empathy is rarely going to help us make the change we seek. It doesn’t help us understand, and it creates a gulf that drives us apart.

That Time Between Christmas and New Year

However, this is a great time to be reflective and to become a planner. So, if I may, I would like to suggest the following:


My Dear Beloved Reader,

Diana and I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, and Santa has been kind to you, and you are replete after lashings of food and perhaps the odd modest tipple. Now, I’m hoping that I’ve caught you at that reflective time that lies between Christmas and The New Year. You’re either still at home enjoying a break or perhaps you have returned to work, but it’s a little slow as so many other businesses /clients are still on holiday. However, this is a great time to be reflective and to become a planner. So, if I may, I would like to suggest the following:

1). Let’s look back at the last twelve months and see how things have progressed in your life. I would strongly recommend that you take a new page in your journal draw a line down the centre and on the left-hand side list all your accomplishments during the last 12 months. Now on the right-hand side of the line list everything that didn’t go so well. If the stuff on the left outweighs the stuff on the right, you’ve had a great year! If not, then we need to recognise the need for change, and perhaps we can start that now with a plan! Just remember that as Mark Twain remarked: “If you always do what you’ve always done then you’ll always have what you’ve always got”.

2). The rudiments of making a plan is to operate from document and not from thought. Sometimes, there’s so much going on in our brain that it’s difficult to focus on an action plan. It’s so much better to get your thoughts out of your brain and into your journal. Incidentally, it’s now proven that those that plan on paper do better than those that plan on a screen. Before you commit your plan to your journal, I believe that you need to start the process with the end in mind. In other words for you to move forward in your life, you need to have a clear idea of where you would like to be in say the next twelve months. Some of the areas for you to consider would be relationships, financial, health, personal development, attainment and I’m sure as you start this journey you will find other areas to consider. Here’s a word of warning. When I first started on this path many years ago, the biggest distraction was the moving wallpaper that sat in the corner of your living room, your television set. Nowadays, it’s the all-pervasive smartphone. I would encourage you to have a ruthless attitude towards your devices. Use them for communication and research. Avoid them for passing the time, and I would suggest that while you are planning the next twelve months of your life, you turn your telephone off! You can catch up on your messages later.

3). Hopefully, you will have been jotting your ideas, dreams and goals down in your journal as you have been reading this article. The next step is to bring some order to your random thoughts. You now need to decide upon the critical areas that you need to work on and start scoping them out in detail in your journal. For me to discuss with you in the short article, all the areas of your life would be impossible. Therefore, let us discuss matters financial.

4). It’s now time to create a visual action plan. I’ve always done this in a ninety-day cycle and have it on my wall above my workspace. First, create a three-month calendar. Just take three sheets of A4 paper and draw out a month on each of them say January, February and March. Now put in the essential elements — your local opportunity presentations, seminars, trainings etc. Now put all the necessary family stuff. Then all the stuff you have to do for the day job. The white stuff that’s left is the time you can put to use to build your fortune. There is no shame in working full time on your job and part-time on your fortune. Using the white stuff that’s left you would list the activity required to initially get the appointments that will lead to presentations and results.

5). It’s essential to be accountable to yourself, and you can use your journal to accomplish this. At the end of everyday list your activity, appointments made, presentations made, customers gathered, new partners introduced. At the end of the week add it all up. Then you can compare week two to week one, month two to month one, the second quarter to the first quarter. Do this for ninety days, and it will become a habit that will never let you down.

Finally, all of the above requires discipline, and it’s accurate to say that the pain of discipline weighs ounces, but the pain of regret weighs tons.

I hope that I have challenged you with this short article and if you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to get in touch. It just remains for me to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

Until my next post…………………………Toodleoo!

A Magical Visit to Hobbiton in The Shire


My Dear Beloved Reader,

It’s been a while since I sat down to write about our adventures in the antipodes but I must confess we’ve been a tad busy. So, this episode is a sort of pictorial memory of an enchanting day in New Zealand where we visited the film set that was created for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in Matamata in the north island. The set is known as Hobbiton and is about two and a half hours drive from Auckland but well worth the journey.

Hobbiton, was originally going to be filmed by Peter Jackson using 17 locations but when Jackson saw this location with a specific tree by a lake (see if you can spot it in the photos below) everthing was brought to Matamata. So, this is where Bag End, the home of Bilbo and Frodo can be found. You should be able to spot in the following photographs. To see a larger image just click on the image you wish to see.

 

We’re in Auckland New Zealand


My Dear Beloved Reader,

So, Diana and I arrived here a couple of days ago to a wet and soggy Auckland late in the afternoon at:

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and quickly checked in to our hotel:

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The Sofitel. The reception staff and concierge were exceptionally good and we found ourselves in a lovely room overlooking the marina and

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The Sky Tower. You can just make out The Orbital Restaurant through the clouds! It had been a long couple of days to get here and our body clocks dictated it was time for bed. So, we were glad to be in a very comfortable bed and swiftly into the arms of Orpheus.

Sunday morning was a new day but still very soggy with occassional driving rain due to the remnants of a tropical storm which will be hanging around for sometime. After a hearty breakfast, coffee, bircher muesli, fruit, greek yoghourt, spanish omlette, crispy bacon and sausage our driver John took us off for a two hour drive around Auckland. Unfortunately, the weather was still against us but we enjoyed John’s comentary. We particularly enjoyed Devonport mainly because it had stopped raining and we could see the local scenery.

Drive John, Diana, Paul & David

So, here we have John our driver together with Diana, Paul and David admiring the view of Auckland from Mount Victoria Reserve. Mount Victoria is situated above the charming and very pretty suburb of Devonport and Mount Victoria is one of fifty-three exstinct volcanoes that surround this city. We then returned to our hotel having encountered some flood water in a couple of places.

That afternoon Diana, David and Paul decided to take sanctary in the spa while I decided to set forth and brave the elements to visit The New Zealand National Maritime Museum and I’m glad I did. The museum was packed full of exhibits from ancient, large, sea-going canoes that had travelled thousands of mile to the modern day. However, it was just three exhibits that really caught my eye.

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The first was this ancient outrigger canoe of an unusal design. All the timbers were lashed together so it would continually leak and when at sea, the crew would be constantly bailing out water from the hull. The other unusual feature was that when the boat was tacking against the wind the rudder would be transferred from one end of the boat to the other and the sails would be pivoted which would allow the outrigger to always be on the windward side to provide stability. It must have been a tough boat to handle.

The second exhibit that fascinated me was The Rewa.

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This boat was built one-hundred and thirty-six years ago by the family that owned her. This was common practise in those days and the family would use “Rewa” to transort produce fron their farm, wool, meat, vegetables etc to the city and would bring home tools, provisions etc.

The final one had of course to be Sir Peter Blake’s yacht NZL 32 “Black Magic” that won the Americas Cup convincingly (five to nil) in 1985 and was the first team to have beaten America in the one-hundred and thirty-five years of the race. New Zealand has continued to be a winner of this ancient sporting event and Sir Peter was a national hero until his murder by pirates off the Amazon delta.

This, of course, was what all the sailing fuss has been about and still is:

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The Americas Cup, originally called the One-Hundred Guineas Cup (that was the original cost) until the yacht America won the race. Some call it “The Auld Mug” as its the oldest sporting trophy and some would say pretty ugly!

Later that night we dined at The Soul Restaurant close to the museum and had a superb dinner.

Until my next post……. Toodleoo!

 

Travelling To New Zealand – The First Leg LHR to Abu Dhabi.


 

My Dear Beloved Reader,

The title is not exactly true as the very first leg was lugging the luggage that she who must be obeyed has insisted is “absolutely necessary” down the stairs, across the hallway and into our venerated vehicle. It’s been a bitterly cold day with the temperature hovering around 7C and for the benefit of my American friends that’s 46F. I was pleased to leave this:

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which happened last night and provided a slightly amusing skating rink this morning. I digress. We had an uneventful but slightly damp journey to London Heathrow Airport and having emptied the luggage onto a variety of carts I entrusted our velocipede into the capable hands of the valet parking team at terminal 4.

Braving the elements we travailed the one hundred feet or so into the terminal and then commenced the half-mile route march to the Etihad First Class check-in area.

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Having completed the formalities we were duly ticketed by a very pleasant young lady and duly directed to the Fast Track path, where she who must be obeyed successfully held everyone up:

fullsizeoutput_f599 and we were off to the Etihad Lounge.

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This lounge has a somewhat subdued lighting scheme which I suppose is to encourage a restful atmosphere but don’t let the photograph above fool you. A few minutes after it was taken the lounge became quite busy. There is a self-serve buffet bar with an adequate array of food and our waitress was very pleasant. Great coffee!

It wasn’t too long before the appointed hour arrived and we made our way to gate 10 and duly boarded and shown to our seats by lovely Aida who together with her colleagues looked after us in an exceptional manner.

Here’s a short video of our experience boarding the flight to Abu Dhabi;

The First Class cabin was really spacious as you can see from our video

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and Diana was very pleased with the extensive menu,

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that was prepared, with obvious passion by our in-flight chef “Chi-Chi”.

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We were very well looked after by Aida and her colleagues and we soon sat down for a lovely dinner.

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To start with we had Meditteranean Mezze which was delicious

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and I for one had no worries whatsoever with the calorific content! This was followed by a delicious

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loin of lamb. The pudding was so good we scoffed it before we could photograph it. Then we had

our beds made. This was not a seat that recined to a “flat bed” but a proper bed and

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we still had our enormous seats.

We’ve now continued our journey and I’m writing this in the Air New Zealnd lounge awaiting our flight to Auckland so, until my next post…….Toodleoo!

How We Talk To People


fullsizeoutput_1da92I was reminded at a seminar last weekend that when Diana and I started our business together (thirty years ago), our primary communication tool was the fixed wire telephone and having a telephone answering machine was so important. In those days mobile telephony was expensive (75p per minute and billed in whole minutes!). Thus, the aim was to use the telephone to make appointments to get in front of a prospect to present our opportunity.

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Today, it seems to me, that most people seem to talk using their thumbs rather than their mouths using a language best described as QWERTYUIOP. This seems to work as appointments are made, but now the face to face meeting appears to be conducted through Skype or Facetime or Zoom. I’ve no challenge with this as the result seems to be similar in that we end up with new members and new partners, but I have a concern.

At last weekends seminar, I was asked why Diana and I had built a National Network Leader Distributorship so quickly within five years and eleven months? That was a great question and deserving of considered thought. It seems to me that the old-fashioned way (analogue) of communicating is faster than these latest (digital) methods of communication. It would appear to me that it’s quicker, easier and simpler to make contact, build rapport and get a result using our analogue methods or am I old-fashioned and prejudiced? I believe that people don’t join companies, they join people, and in my opinion, digital methods of prospecting and presenting are a tad impersonal and difficult to show that you really care about their future.

However, I’m not against them, and I can see a definite case when a contact that you wish to engage with lives at the other end of the country.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that we should all become Luddites and revert to the analogue way of doing things but I am suggesting that a blend of approaches dependent on location might be a better way.

Please feel free to comment and debate in the comment sections below and don’t forget to share my blog with your team and subscribe to it if you have not already done so.

Until my next post…..Toodle-oo!

Travels With Stanley Episode 3. Leaving Saint-Jean-De-Luz for Toledo.


My Dear Beloved Reader,

This little video says it all as we leave Saint-Jean-De-Luz in the south of France just north of the Spanish border bound for the Toledo in Spain. Indeed from the sea-front of this lovely little town, you can see the Pyrenees that forms the natural border between France and Spain.

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Once we got into The Pyrenees the weather really started to deteriorate and at one point it was snowing quite heavily. We certainly didn’t envy the drivers of the convoy below

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transporting these giant wind turbine blades.

We arrived at our hotel The Eurostars Palacio Buenavista in Toledo at 18:10 after a pretty gruelling drive and we were glad to have an early dinner and an early night in preparation for our last drive to Marbella the following day.

Until my next post……………Toodleoo!